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Ribs for Votes Raises Legal Questions

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MacIver finds some interesting connections in the story of Ribs for Votes: the effort by a group called "Jobs Now" to turn out anti-Alberta Darling votes by giving away free BBQ ribs and other goodies.

 

Milwaukee, Wisc…] Two events held in Milwaukee today aimed at rewarding absentee voters could run afoul of Wisconsin law a state election official said today.

The group, Wisconsin Jobs Now! describes itself as a “coalition of community groups, neighborhood associations, faith based organizations and labor united in an effort to bring good jobs to Wisconsin now.”

At two events in the city Monday, Wisconsin Jobs Now! offered free BBQ and prize drawings to people who participate in their absentee voting drive. They promoted the events on their website, action.wisconsinjobsnow.org.

Wisconsin statutes forbid “election bribery,” under 12.11. This includes giving or offering anything of value in exchange for going to the polls.

Steve Pickett, an elections specialist with the Government Accountability Board, told the MacIver News Service that whether this event is legal or not could come down to timing.

“If they walk in with a sticker that says ‘I voted ‘that’s one thing, but if they eat before they vote that’s a problem,” Pickett said. “It’s still a questionable practice on way or the other.”...

In what could be another indication of coordination between the various groups, the MacIver News Service discovered that the address and phone number for Wisconsin Jobs Now! and Citizen Action of Wisconsin are the same. Matthew Brusky is listed as the treasurer of Wisconsin Jobs Now. A Matthew Brusky is also listed as the political director at Citizen Action of Wisconsin.

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